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Ben Krimmel: Colonials shut up their skeptics (me)

Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.

Anybody have a good recipe for crow?

Kevin Larsen does what he did all night against VCU: dominate in the paint. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor
Kevin Larsen does what he did all night against VCU: dominate in the paint. Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

Perhaps the GW Deli can fry it and put it in a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a bagel?

I saw a GW performance that was unexpected, but not once astonishing from my seat in the rafters of the Smith Center on Tuesday. (And when I say rafters I mean rafters. I was so far up a student in the Colonial Army asked if I was the Smith Center DJ.)

What happened to doom and gloom for GW and death by turnovers, as I had written before the game? Well, parts of that happened.

The Colonials had a season-high 21 turnovers. But the “havoc” defense from Shaka Smart’s VCU Rams was more like a nuisance than a death squad. Turnovers turned out to be nothing more than a flesh wound.

The Rams had no answer for the inside game of Kevin Larsen, who poured in 22 points, or Patricio Garino, who added 25.

Late in the second half, it seemed GW was ready to break. Maybe that press had finally gotten to head coach Mike Lonergan’s squad. Twice in the game’s final quarter of play, the GW lead was cut to four.

However, the Colonials never faltered. Kethan Savage’s unguarded, thunderous one-handed slam-dunk with 2:49 left in the first half put the Colonials up for good.

For Smart, it will be a sleepless night during VCU’s return to Richmond. “Larsen and Garino, Larsen and Garino” echoing over and over in his head.

Inside the paint, it was Kevin Larsen’s world and the VCU big men were living in it. Slashing to the basket with ease and atop the GW 1-3-1 zone, Garino was kicking, swatting and harassing.

If this version of Larsen sticks around and the Colonial Army brings this level of intensity to every home game, GW will have made their home a fortress, with Lonergan acting as King of the Foggy Bottom Castle.

With 9:45 to play, Armwood grabbed one of his 14 rebounds and found Garino open down the court for the outlet pass. Garino’s lay-up missed but Larsen was there for the uncontested tap in. VCU stood stunned as the ball bounced in the paint. After all of their pressure and all of their pestering defense, they trailed by 10.

For the Rams, it was a look of “No mas.” For the majority 4,874 that jammed into the Smith Center, it was jubilation. The building shook slightly as Smart called for a 30-second timeout.

The 4-14 combined shooting from guards Maurice Creek, Kethan Savage and Joe McDonald didn’t matter. The continued struggle from outside (2-10) counted for zilch.

Led by senior Isaiah Armwood’s 14 boards, the Colonials outrebounded the Rams 45-29, the only reprieve from the numerous turnovers.

With time winding down, GW George waved at the hundreds of VCU fans filing out of the gym. They too had the same look as the Ram’s on the court: “No mas.”

Let me eat crow.

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